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French Hospital Medical Center Surpasses 100th Innovative Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR)

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Advanced cardiac procedure delivers a fully collapsible replacement valve to the valve site through a catheter

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – May 25, 2018 – French Hospital Medical Center (FHMC), a Dignity Health Central Coast hospital and the first hospital south of Stanford and north of UCLA to perform the innovative transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), is excited to announce that the 100th procedure has been successfully surpassed. 

FHMC cardiac surgeons, cardiologists, interventional cardiologists, and interventional radiologists together performed 101 minimally invasive TAVR procedures over the course of three years, when TAVR was first introduced at French Hospital.  

Charlotte Enterline, an 85-year-old Central Coast resident, underwent her TAVR procedure on Wednesday, May 23. The day after the procedure, she was smiling and alert in her hospital bed.  “I feel great,” said Enterline, as she praised cardiologist Mark Bocchicchio, MD, when he paid her a bedside visit. Enterline has since been released to recover in the comfort of her own home.

Prior to the FDA’s approval of TAVR in 2011, patients with narrowed aortic valves that were considered to be high risk for surgery had limited options. Traditional open heart surgery to replace an aortic valve involves cutting open the chest, but TAVR provides a much less invasive option, with no opening of the chest necessary. The procedure uses a catheter to deliver a collapsible replacement valve to the site of the narrowed valve. When the new valve has been expanded, it pushes the old valve leaflets out of the way, and the new valve takes over regulating blood flow. 

 “Our nationally acclaimed cardiac program continues to be at the forefront of technology and programs, and we celebrate this significant milestone as we complete surpassing the 100th successful TAVR procedure at French Hospital,” says French Hospital Medical Center President & CEO Alan Iftiniuk. “Only a few select hospitals have the capability to perform this leading-edge technological procedure, and this is yet another example of our continued commitment to providing our patients the highest level of quality, safety, and service.”

In November of 2016, FHMC hosted a reunion for those that had undergone the procedure to honor the patients who entrusted FHMC with their heart health, and to celebrate FHMC at the time being the only Central Coast to offer this minimally invasive and innovative alternative to open heart surgery. 

The George Hoag Advanced Hybrid Surgical Suite, along with French Hospital’s skilled cardiac team, made TAVR procedures possible on the Central Coast. The hybrid suite delivers the latest in high-tech imaging, computer and diagnostic equipment, and surgical capabilities.


About French Hospital Medical Center
French Hospital Medical Center, located in San Luis Obispo, California, is rated one of the Top 100 Hospitals in the nation and one of the Top 50 Cardiac Hospitals in the nation by Thomson Reuters.  The Copeland, Forbes, and Rossi Cardiac Care Center provides the latest innovative cardiac and imaging technology on the Central Coast. The hospital’s current modernization and redesign project is an example of the commitment to meet the growing needs of the community with lifesaving advancements in medicine coupled with excellent, compassionate care. The hospital is home to the unique Hearst Cancer Resource Center offering free education, resources and support to cancer patients and their families.  French is a Dignity Health member of the Central Coast which also includes Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, CA and Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, CA. Dignity Health of the Central Coast is an integrated network of top quality hospitals, physicians from the most prestigious medical schools, and comprehensive outpatient services including primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories and imaging centers and a full service home health agency; all recognized for quality, safety and service.  Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic Foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of our communities.


Publish date: 

Friday, May 25, 2018